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OTFM-TC Featured Vendor: Maria's Corn Flan

November 21, 2013

Located in Lazaro Cárdenas Park, kitty-corner to Daiquiri Dick's on Olas Atlas, the Old Town Farmers' Market-Tianguis Cultural is open every Saturday from 9:30 am to 2 pm through the end of May.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Saturday is almost here, and it's time to head over to the Old Town Farmers Market-Tianguis Cultural in the heart of Puerto Vallarta. Immerse yourself in the local color, feast on the flavors, and peruse through the endless variety of "make it, bake it, grow it" treasures.

There you can find farm-to-table produce, all natural soaps, hand rolled cigars, colorful coconut pods, fashionable handbags made from traditional Mexican materials, silver jewelry, preservative-free dog and cat treats and much, much more.

And while you're enjoying the warm Mexican sun and upbeat rhythms of lively entertainers; be sure to take a moment to say "hola" to this week's featured vendor - Maria Reyes of Maria's Corn Flan.

Naturally, every OTFM-TC vendor is special with a story of his or her own. These stories begin with an idea which is baked up with passion and determination. The "sweet spot" comes when we help vendors achieve professional goals that will forever change their lives. Maria Reyes has one of these stories.

A native of Mexico City, Reyes quit her job and moved to Puerto Vallarta to take care of her sick mother. Family friends had assured her that when the time came, they would help her jump back in the workforce. However, when Reyes' mother passed away, the help was nowhere to be found.

"I couldn't find work because of my age, and things were getting pretty desperate," says Reyes. "So when my Canadian neighbor told me about the market, I asked her to take me to it."

It was a spring day in 2010 when the ladies headed to the OTFM-TC. Impressed, Reyes filled out an application and an interview was set. She wanted to sell specialty desserts and baked goods based on old family recipes. And to show off her skills, she offered two of her most delectable items: baked flan and corn cakes.

"Charlotte Semple, the market founder, loved my baked items and invited me to be a vendor, but she kept mixing up the name," says Reyes. "No matter how many times I corrected her, she kept calling them 'corn flan.' The name just stuck, and now I tell everyone that Charlotte named my corn cake!"

Reyes' corn flan was a market hit! Customers from near and far lined up to get these gluten-free, traditional Mexican gourmet mini cakes. In fact, Reyes spends hours cutting the kennels from over 120 young corn cobs grown in the neighboring state of Nayarit. She then chops and blends the grains; cracks eggs, adds sugar and stirs in milk. When the mix is ready, she pours it into individualized molds. With one eye on the timer, Reyes carefully rotates the oven trays to achieve a signature golden brown.

"I am very thankful that the OTFM-TC gave me a chance to begin something new for my life," says Reyes. And she couldn't be more proud as her market sales now provide the income she needs to thrive as a business owner.

"Reyes' passion and commitment are great examples of what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur," says Semple. "It's this entrepreneurial spirit we foster when we work with our vendors to develop their businesses."

During the summer, the market partnered with MR Diseño owner Mariia Rosales to create a new brand for Reyes' business. Rosales made a generous donation, and Reyes and the market covered the rest of the design fees.

"I would never have been able to do this all by myself," says Reyes as she shows off her new business cards, banners, flyers, invitations, ads and posters. "I feel different. I'm not just a vendor; I'm an entrepreneur! If it weren't for the market, my life would be different."

And now you can savor the flavor. Stop by the market this Saturday to try her famous corn flan, tarts, Mexican Christmas Cake or her popular "God's Dessert" (a "no flour" chocolate cake.)

Join us this Saturday for a lip-smacking good time at the OTFM-TC. And don't forget that we have other ready-to-eat foods and international cuisine for your dining pleasure.

To connect with Maria Reyes, visit Facebook or call 322-128-9667. For graphic design solutions, contact Mariia Rosales at 322-222-1164 or mariia02.02(at) See you this Saturday at the OTFM-TC!

Located in Lazaro Cárdenas Park, kitty-corner to Daiquiri Dick's on Olas Atlas, the Old Town Farmers' Market-Tianguis Cultural is open every Saturday from 9:30 am to 2 pm from the first Saturday in November to the last Saturday in May. For only $10 pesos an hour, you can park in the garage directly beneath the plaza. Or you can take a taxi or public bus, which stops along Pino Suarez Street, just steps from the Market. For more information, visit, or on Facebook: Old Town Farmer’s Market Puerto Vallarta.

Click HERE to learn more about the Puerto Vallarta Old Town Farmers' Market.